Konka Electronics, the Chinese consumer electronics group major, which announced expansion plans and the launch of a whole host of products in India barely a day ago, has broken off its alliance with its Indian joint venture partner, Hotline.
Barely a few days ago, Konka had announced plans to invest Rs 500 crore in its Indian operations.
Konka Electronics India Ltd is a three-way joint venture in whose equity the Chinese company has a 51 per cent stake, while Hotline and Hong Kong-based Wittis hold 25 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.
The Chinese company has denied reports of a break-up, but Hotline officials have said they have bid goodbye to the collaboration.
Konka's plans include:
- import of Konka products from China in the form of completely-knocked-down and semi-knocked-down kits;
- setting up of an manufacturing and R&D base in India the next year;
- networking of the R&D facility with the company's global R&D facility in six months.
The launch of Konka products in India will be organised in four phases:
- launch of CTVs, DVDs, and VCDs in the first phase;
- launch of washing machines (semi and fully automatic) and refrigerators (frost-free and direct cool) in the second phase;
- launch of air-conditioners (window and split) and micro-wave ovens in the third phase; and
- launch of high-end audio systems in the fourth phase.
Huang Zhong-tian, vice general manager, Konka Electronics, while outlining the future plans of the Chinese company in an interview, said that all the products in the Konka portfolio would be introduced in the Indian market within the next one year. While initially, the products would be directly imported, a manufacturing facility would be set up in India in a years' time which would act as the export hub for Konka's products to West Asia and neighbouring countries.
The company plans to launch its products initially in the states of Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Western Uttar Pradesh and Jammu &Kashmir followed by a nation-wide launch.
According to industry insiders, the company may be planning to set up a 100 per cent subsidiary in India for its manufacturing operations, in which the Rs 500 crore investment would be used as equity.